Im­prove driv­ers, don’t sup­press them

Times Colonist - - Comment -

Re: “High­way speed limit hikes linked to more crashes, fa­tal­i­ties: study,” Oct. 10. It’s ob­vi­ous from the ar­ti­cle about Dr. Jeff Brubacher that he is a slow driver and has a vested in­ter­est in let­ting no one drive any faster than he can. As a driver of nearly 60 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence and hav­ing gone over 200 km/h more times than he has had hot din­ners, I can say that you treat ev­ery­thing with the re­spect it is due, even your ve­hi­cle’s speed. The speed won’t kill you, the sud­den stop will.

A speed of 120 km/h isn’t all that fast. In Europe, mo­tor­ways are set at 130 km/h, and some U.S. states have lim­its of 135 km/h. So if these speeds are deemed safe enough there, what’s wrong with B.C. driv­ers?

Per­haps the Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture should look at its much-vaunted grad­u­at­edli­cens­ing pol­icy be­cause it is turn­ing out (af­ter pay­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate fees) driv­ers who shouldn’t be on the road, and keep­ing peo­ple on the roads who shouldn’t be there.

Mark Twain said: “There are lies, damnable lies and then there are sta­tis­tics.” Brubacher talked about the in­creased ac­ci­dents on the Mala­hat af­ter its speed limit was in­creased. The speed limit on the Mala­hat hasn’t been in­creased since it was slashed in 1974. It has even been re­duced fur­ther since then. Is that fur­ther re­duc­tion the cause of the ad­di­tional crashes?

The roads are bet­ter, the cars are in­fin­itely bet­ter than they should be at the prices they cost. Let’s im­prove the driv­ers rather than sup­press all of them. Paul Whit­worth Vic­to­ria

On high­ways such as the Mala­hat, a let­ter-writer says, it’s not high speeds that cause crashes, but poor driv­ers.

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